Table of Contents
At the NCSLA Spring Summit, Michelle Chadwick was honored as the 2022 winner of the Michael C. Jackson Distinguished Service Award, sponsored by ExploreLearning. Michelle is the very epitome of service to science education and is an experienced and versatile science education leader in North Carolina.
Michelle is currently the Onslow County Coordinator of Academic Innovation and Gifted Services K-12 Science. In addition to helping teachers identify and acquire appropriate resources for science instruction and conducting professional development programs, Michelle focuses on the planning and operation of numerous science enrichment events including Science Olympiads at the elementary, middle and high school levels and district Science and Engineering Fairs. In her various roles, Michelle has never failed to put teachers and students first. She works with school district science leaders to strengthen inquiry- based science instruction in the eastern region of NC.
Michelle’s thoughtful contributions to the science education conversations helps advance student learning. She organizes and participates in professional development, community events, and works with K-12 STEM educators and adult learners in groups as well as on an individual basis. She has created and adapted science and STEM concepts to meet the requirements of the NC Science Standard Course of Study, and is a hard-working, dependable, and generous colleague. A common definition of servant leadership is someone that is focused primarily on the growth and well-being of people and the communities in which they belong. Michelle is certainly that.
Michelle has played a vital role in Army Education Outreach Partnership (AEOP), working with the NC STEM Research Academy, co-created and administered by the SMT Center, Burroughs Wellcome Fund, and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte’s Center for STEM Education.
Michelle has spent countless Saturdays and “virtual” Thursdays over the past 5 year, ensuring that students can participate in the program, often getting to the site early to unlock the building and staying late to lock it. Once the students arrive, Michelle provides them with mentoring on
research, finding the right balance between guiding the students while gently pushing them to their own discoveries. She works with students one- on-one and is always willing to make an extra effort to support them emotionally and intellectually. She has done a tremendous job bringing other teachers into the program because she understands that teachers need support as well.
More recently Michelle has become a trainer in the Leap into Science early childhood STEM literacy program. As soon as she was trained, she led workshops for children and families – exciting in them the spirit of discovery to try STEM activities. Michelle repeatedly works through barriers to get things done whether it’s driving halfway across the state to pick up supplies
for science experiments, driving a school van to a competition or adapting a curriculum to make it work – all the while with a wry smile. Michelle is a “can-do” person and is more than ready to do her part for science associations, conferences, events, and competitions. In 2020 and 2021 Michelle co-coordinated and planned four virtual NCSTA professional development workshops for middle and high school science teachers across NC. You can see her leadership skills as a past NCSTA District 2 Director and a current Director at Large for NCSLA. Michelle and her team are known for their leadership in promoting a high standard of STEM curriculum and outreach and is a valuable asset to her region and our state. We also know that Michelle is a kind and caring individual. She supports her colleagues through her work and her friendship.
The Michael C. Jackson Distinguished Service Award is named for Michael Conoly Jackson. Michael taught science for 35 years in North Carolina, including service at Lenoir Community College, East Carolina University, Camp Lejeune Schools, Southeastern Community College, Catawba County Schools, and the Tarheel Challenge Academy. Mike’s distinguished service to science education included being President of three science associations: NCSTA, NCSLA and NSELA. The Michael C. Jackson award goes to a person who has gone above and beyond the requirements of the workplace providing outstanding leadership and service in science education at the district, regional, and state level.